New vernaculars and feminine ecriture; twenty-first century avant-garde film

Novaczek Ruth 2015. New vernaculars and feminine ecriture; twenty-first century avant-garde film. PhD thesis University of Westminster Faculty of Media, Art and Design

TitleNew vernaculars and feminine ecriture; twenty-first century avant-garde film
TypePhD thesis
AuthorsNovaczek Ruth

This practice-based research project explores the parameters of – and aims to
construct – a new film language for a feminine écriture within a twenty first century
avant-garde practice. My two films, Radio and The New World, together with my
contextualising thesis, ask how new vernaculars might construct subjectivity in the
contemporary moment. Both films draw on classical and independent cinema to
revisit the remix in a feminist context. Using appropriated and live-action footage the
five short films that comprise Radio are collaged and subjective, representing an
imagined world of short, chaptered ‘songs’ inside a radio set. The New World also
uses both live-action and found footage to inscribe a feminist transnational world, in
which the narrative is continuous and its trajectory bridges, rather than juxtaposes, the
stories it tells.

Both the films and the contextualising written text flag the possibility of new
approaches at the intersections between cinema, poetry, feminism and critical theory.
Drawing on the work of a number of filmmakers, feminists, writers and poets -
including Abigail Child, Scott MacDonald, Betzy Bromberg, Christopher MacLaine,
Chris Kraus, Eileen Myles and others - I describe the possibilities of cross-pollination
of media and approaches. Through interrogating the methodologies of feminist,
independent, mainstream & experimental films, their use of protagonists, montage,
mise en scene and soundtrack, I argue that my two films have developed new
vernaculars, which offer the potential to constitute a new feminine écriture through a
knowing revival of cinema as a form of exploratory language. In addition to the
constituting force of the films themselves, questions of identity and the current and
potential future of film are interrogated via the writings of such cultural theorists,
philosophers and artists such as Svetlana Boym, Lauren Berlant, and Christian


Related outputs

Dean, J.M., Min, Y.S., Fung, R. and Novaczek Ruth 2005. Unplugged. Toyoto Museum, Aichi, Japan

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